Couchsurfing IS NOT LONGER FREE. And here’s why.

So, don’t know have you heard for this news yet, but starting from May 14, Couchsurfing – a network for meeting and staying with locals – is not longer free.

Published on CS official website on May 16, 2020:

On May 14, 2020 we began asking for members to contribute with a monthly, or annual fee paid upfront, to keep Couchsurfing alive. Member contributions are required to access the Couchsurfing website and mobile applications. These will be used to support Couchsurfing through the COVID-19 pandemic and keep safe those Couchsurfing members who are still traveling. This is a decision of last resort, and not one taken lightly.” (source)

Why?

“Given the challenging realities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Couchsurfing will soon be unable to meet our financial obligations. We have reduced the size of our team, taken pay cuts, eliminated or renegotiated all contracts, eliminated our physical office space (we are now a 100% remote workforce), and applied for COVID-19 relief funds provided by the United States Government through the CARES Act. Unfortunately, this will not be enough.” (source)

Unlimited messages and Couch requests

“Couchsurfing members will now be able to send unlimited messages and Couch requests. As third-party advertising is no longer supporting Couchsurfing, all third-party advertising will soon be removed from the website and mobile applications. Your contributions will allow us to significantly reduce the cost of Verification in the near future. The Couchsurfing website and mobile applications will continue to evolve and we are in the process of developing many of the exciting features requested by the community.” (source)

Price

“As of May 14, 2020, we are asking for member contributions of $2.39 per month, or $14.29 per year if paid upfront, to keep Couchsurfing alive. This member contribution is required to access the Couchsurfing website and mobile applications.” (source)


Sources: 

Couchsurfing needs your help – CS Blog –  May 14, 2020 (link)

Why is Couchsurfing no longer free? – CS FAQs – May 16, 2020 (link)


There’s an update

Only a few days after the decision to start asking for member contributions of $2.39 per month, or $14.29 per year if paid upfront, on May 20, Couchsurfing put out another blog article explaining they decided to take this move.

The article is titled “We hear you” and you can read it here

Here’s a bit of it, for more, go visit that link posted up:

Dear Couchsurfing,

We hear you.

You’re disappointed that we did not communicate more about the financial state of the organization as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic earlier. For that, we apologize. Sincerely. Genuinely. From our hearts.

We are humbled by the outpouring of voices. You have shown us the depth of your passion for Couchsurfing, for the community, and for the friends you have made here.

We do hear you. Now, it’s time to take a deep breath to explain more about what’s going on, and more importantly, why. We want you to understand the situation as clearly as we do and clarify a few of the most commonly asked questions surrounding the implementation of our member contribution program.” (source)